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’73 and Me

October 8, 2013

East Valley LogoI recently attended my high school class reunion. Yes, our senior pictures are ridiculous, humiliating, and embarrassing. Fortunately polyester is gone from the fashion scene. We aren’t as svelte as we were when we graduated, but we are better. I left so moved by the stories shared. I have classmates battling chronic debilitating diseases. I have lost classmates to tragic accidents and devastating illnesses. I heard accounts of friends who have lost spouses and children. I heard many talking about making vocational choices that allowed them to care for parents. I heard those in the sandwich generation talking about what they did for their parents and children. And now, we are adding another layer to the menu and supporting grandchildren. We have celebrated scholarships and endured birth defects.

We have ventured into the world and served people literally around the globe: teaching children in the Middle East, helping raise foster children with fetal alcohol syndrome, visiting children in juvenile detention, supporting families through transitional housing, volunteering to alleviate court congestion, working in federal land management and reclamation projects, running small businesses, and serving our nation. We have moved for jobs and family. The words I think of as I reflect on the stories I heard are: courageous, strong, devoted, gracious, generous, and fun.

As the program concluded, the committee asked if this should happen every 5 or 10 years. The room resoundingly declared 5! One of the things time has done is shown us the value of relationships. We lamented some of our old friends who couldn’t or didn’t attend.

A core of our classmates worked long and hard to find us and arrange for the hospitality. We owe them a debt of gratitude. The old song we learned in school was to “Make new friends, but keep the old, One is silver and the other gold.” We discovered a mother lode at the reunion.

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